Chunk Sorphea, nicknamed “Duk”, and Sam Samith, members of the Cambodia National Beach Volleyball team, partnered together to help their volleyball team Borey Kheam Panha take the title of “ISI PIPE-ISI PALM Volleyball Emperors” in the first season – after the two players and their teammates fought back to beat the Ministry of Interior’s A Team in the final of the tournament.
Through the match – held at The Blue Sports Club on the night of April 29 – Duk and Samith of Borey Kheam Panha, nicknamed the “Killing Eagles”, partnered with teammates Sok Rado, Sea Kosal and Mom Rattanak (reserved player) displayed the mettle required by a champion side.
In the mouthwatering 4x4 final on Friday night, the interior ministry’s A Team got off to a flying start, easily beating the Eagles 15-3 in the first set. Borey Kheam Panha displayed nerves of steel to fight back for the win, taking the second set 16-14, and producing a 15-12 victory in the third to secure the title.
Winning the local competition not only helped the killing Eagles to a prize pool of 20 million riel, but served as an important warm up for Duk and Sam Samith, as they prepare to join teammates Thi Meng Huang, Im Narith, Thon Leap Heng and Pech Sophon and challenge for beach volleyball glory at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, this month.
Runners-up, the A Team, received 8 million Riel and the ministry’s B Team taking 2.8 million for their third place at the “2022 ISI PIPE-ISI PALM Volleyball Emperors”. The tournament ran for five months and was divided into four groups before bringing the first and second teams from the each group to compete in the finals.
Sre Sreng, the event organizer, told reporters: “The Volleyball Emperors Tournament is a hybrid event, as the 4-a-side format is usually played on the beach. We organised playing in an indoor hall, as this form of the sport is popular with fans. The event also encourages the public to learn the standard rules of volleyball. I have seen many members of the public following the wrong guidelines when playing, so I hope this has helped their understanding of the sport. We hope to continue entertaining and educating the public next season.”